The Office of Victim Services provides a safety net for individuals who have no other way to pay for costs – including but not limited to medical bills, counseling expenses, burial and funeral costs, and lost wages – resulting from being victims of crime. Family members of crime victims also may be eligible for help.
The agency is a payer of last resort, which means a victim or survivor of a crime or family member must exhaust all other sources of compensation before OVS can assist. For example, benefits must first be obtained from health or other insurance policies or workers’ compensation before the agency can provide financial assistance.
You can learn more about eligibility requirements by:
- Visiting OVS Resource Connect, an online concern-based search engine to help you find a victim assistance program near you. Victim advocates can help ensure OVS has all the paperwork necessary to determine if you are eligible for assistance. These programs also can provide direct services, such as counseling, emergency shelter in certain cases, and transportation to court.
- Reviewing this Online Claim Application Guide, which outlines everything you need to know about filing a victim compensation claim.
A Guide to Crime Victims’ Compensation in New York State also provides important information about eligibility. You also may view/print a PDF of the Claim Application for reference.
The Office of Victim Service accepts claim applications online through its Victim Service Portal. Before filing an online claim:
- Watch this OVS Compensation Training Series, videos outlining the assistance available from OVS and offering detailed instructions for filing claims.
- Create a personal my.ny.gov account. Once you have a created an account and have a user name and password, you can access the Victim Service Portal and online claim application. Portal FAQs
- Questions? Contact OVS
Who may be eligible?
- Individuals must be victims of a crime in New York State
- Victims of crime who were physically injured as a result of the crime
- Victims of crime who were not physically injured but are under 18, older than 60, or disabled
- Vulnerable elderly, incompetent or physically disabled persons – defined as those who are unable to care for themselves – who have savings stolen
- Certain relatives and dependents, including spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, parent, stepparent, guardian, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, child, stepchild or grandchild of a victim of crime
- Those who paid for or incurred burial costs for a victim of crime
- Children who are victims or witnessed a crime
- Certain victims of unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping
- Certain stalking victims
- Victims of certain menacing, criminal mischief, robbery, harassment, criminal contempt, unlawful surveillance, dissemination of unlawful surveillance and hate crime charges
- New York State residents who are victims of terrorist acts outside of the United States
- Victims of frivolous lawsuits brought by a person who committed a crime against the victim of crime
- Expenses for medical or other related services that are not covered by other insurance or benefit programs
- Lost earnings or loss of support up to $600 a week, not to exceed the maximum of $30,000
- Lost savings of vulnerable elderly, or incompetent, or physically disabled persons, not to exceed the maximum of $30,000
- Burial expenses up to $6,000 (for crimes committed on or after Nov. 1, 1996)
- Occupational rehabilitation expenses
- Counseling services to the victim of crime and to certain family members, in accordance with the OVS fee schedule, which is based on reasonable fee rates, depending on the credentials of the treating counselor
- The cost of repair or replacement of essential personal property lost, damaged or destroyed as the direct result of a crime, up to $500. A maximum of $100 in cash can be replaced
- Transportation expenses for necessary court appearances in connection with the prosecution of the crime or transportation for medical appointments necessary as a result of the crime
- Employment-related transportation expenses, due to a victim’s personal physical injury as the result of a crime, up to $2,500
- The cost of residing at or utilizing the services of a domestic violence shelter
- Crime scene cleanup expenses and/or cost of securing a crime scene, up to $2,500
- Attorney fees – up to a maximum of $1,000 – for representation before the agency and/or before an appellate court, upon judicial review of the victim’s OVS claim